This Old Town – Prats de Mollo   4 comments

The Roussillon region is well furnished with historical treasures. Numerous Cathar castles like the one we visited at Chateau de Peyrepertuse, abbeys, churches, forts, ruins of various shapes and sizes. It also has several walled towns, the most famous of which is the UNESCO World Heritage site at Villefranche de Conflet. That was too far for a day trip from our base but we were lucky in that the lesser known and wonderfully named town of Prats de Mollo was just a short drive away.

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The town and Fort Lagarde above

The kids don’t really go for these old villages but I love them with their narrow twisting streets and sense of timelessness. Under minor protest we headed down for a half a day stroll.

It was a stunning day, clear and blue and the views up to the town and its fortress above, the Fort Lagarde.

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Romanesque Church and Mountains

The situation is stunning with the town cradled amongst the foothills of the Canigou mountains and the Costabonne massif, the last staging post before the road heads into Spain. The town and its fort were designed the famous french military architect Vauban and it possesses all his trademark features, especially the star-shaped fort itself

The market was in town so before we explored we bought some fresh fruit for a mid morning snack and sat in a quiet square near the Porte D’Espagne to enjoy the food and the ambience.

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Place D’Armes

Afterwards TBF and L decided to wander amongst the shops in the Place D’Armes while me and D explored the town walls which were excellent. The Romanesque church is especially impressive. The castle sits high above the town so we had decided it was too hot to be exploring another castle. We were just about to return to the town when we came across a hidden treasure. There was as you’d expect a twisting path up through the trees to castle high above but there was also an underground passage that led up under the hill and up a sloping path and steps to the castle ramparts.

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Going Underground

A secret passage to the castle! Does it get better than that. D was thrilled by this (well I was too of course) and it was with some degree of excitement that we emerged on the outer edge of the castle.

The view down over the town and across the mountains was well worth the effort. We decided there was no need to see the castle after all that excitement and went back down the same way to double the pleasure.

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Fort Lagarde Ramparts

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Prats from the Fort

We decided to celebrate with a fine lunch in a restaurant on the main square before a final tour of the walls.

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Lunch in the square

I could spend hours just wandering the streets and watch life roll by in these old towns but the kids had done enough and wanted to head back to the pool for some more play-time.

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Porte D’Espagne

A place not to be missed f you’re ever down this way

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4 responses to “This Old Town – Prats de Mollo

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  1. Coooool!!
    On the other hand, it must have been very ho-o-ot if two rampart hounds like you and D were discouraged from looking around a castle by the heat.
    Still not jealous.

    Like

    beatingthebounds
  2. Fab pictures. I have a holiday home in Prats De Mollo and I’m never bored here. Providing you like your entertainment outdoorsy, it’s a lovely place to come.

    Like

    Richard Livingstone
    • Hi Richard, thanks for stopping by! Glad you liked the photos of your “home-town”. We’re on our way home from Montferrer again as I type but didn’t manage to visit Prats this time. We did go to Villefranche sur Conflet and while it was great, it lacked the charm of Prats. We love the area and I managed to get out and do some more walks and we had another play in the trees at Montoz Arbres.

      Like

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